ONCE YOU’VE ESTABLISHED THAT your portlights need replac- ing, the first thing you need to do is find new ones. If your portlights are round, oval, or rectangular, chances are they’re a catalog item originally supplied by a hatch-and-portlight manufacturer such as Beckson, Bomar, Gebo, Lewmar, Taylor,
or Vetus. Even irregular portlights are often shared across a number of boat
models and become available as off-the-shelf items. If your boat’s manufacturer
is still in business, their customer-service department can probably tell you who manufactured
the original windows. Where an exact match isn’t a requirement, locating the appropriate
replacement can be as easy as taking a couple
of measurements and surfing the Web.
If you find that your particular portlights
aren’t available as a standard item, the easiest
and surely the least expensive option will be
to select a standard portlight that requires a
slightly larger opening in one or both dimensions. Enlarging an opening is typically just
a matter of minor grinding or sawing, while
reducing the size of the opening is a major
glasswork project. Don’t think you can make
up the difference with extra sealant.
OH, FOR A
DO IT YOURSELF
YOUR FEBRUARY GUIDE TO PROJECTS, SKILL-BUILDING + WHAT’S NEW
Over time, plastic portlights lose clarity.
Polishing can’t correct issues like
crazing and discoloration. Sometimes
pane replacement is the only solution
BY DON CASEY | ILLUSTRATIONS BY PAUL MIRTO